Summer Showcase – June 2022

Friday, 3 June 2022

©Alessia Giuffrida

Archive of all previous showcases

Edited by Susan Jane Sims


In the Moonlight


In the moonlight, lost

in the heady fragrance of

desire, lovers 


part with a sigh, their 

eyes glow like embers

locked in embrace –


their kiss butterflies

lingering in the deep throat

of honeyed flowers.


Shanta Acharya



Missing pieces


As I was carried to a distant land,

Pieces fell away in transit,

A jigsaw, incomplete,

A picture, distorted.

I knew I was not theirs,

long before they told me.

My features, my colour, my blood

was from somewhere else.

I was the answer to a womb,

too precious to make its own.

It was the solution to a hand that

could not hold its own.

Singled out, Chosen, I became someone else.

Care there was; love there was not.

Gratitude was demanded and given.

My heart yearned for that missing piece,


That which I saw, heard, dreamt ,

could not feel.

I knew it was somewhere far away,

in a cave, in a hut, perhaps a palace?

In the secret of a woman’s heart,

Also pining for the love she had lost.


Leela Gautam


House to house


The soldiers went from house to house,

knocking on doors, breaking down doors.


We’ll take you, they said. We are in need of

 a little comfort, a little warm flesh.


At one house they said, not you,

you can stay, you are too ugly.


Afterwards the women crept home

in the darkness.


One found her husband dead in their doorway

She sat by his body until morning.


Friends will say of the women,

They never really came back.


Their bodies are healed. Even their minds

Allow them sometimes to forget.


But look in their eyes. Those hours linger.


Susan Jane Sims




Forget red hearts of poison ivy leaves

along the path between the dunes.

Step down that boardwalk.

            Stop. Stare. See.


It is enough

that Earth bends the horizon’s bow

to a taut curve

                        that spans,


the sea:

            an endless conch—



Now, in this great space,

I am a child again:


            but not lost.

Comforted, cloaked round 

with sky and summer’s ocean, sand,


                        my feet sinking 

            into glass-glint sharpness,

soles warmed 

            by the crimped white grit of it,


ears tuned 

            to the eider’s coo, the gull’s call

over tufts of marram grass;

            to the flit & cry of terns


            in salted air.


All this:

it is enough.


Lizzie Ballagher





A domestic fowl wearing a T-shirt 


gets on the bus with her hen friends, 

Hen-Girl perches on the first step of the bus

like a tuft of feathers on her crown 

she smooths her tiny veil and the passengers stare

her talons painted piercing against the dim lights 

and grubby handles on the bus,

she’s not killing anybody cooing like a mother-hen.


The brood go to sit at the back 

clucking and fussing over their shell suits

they fix their make-up,  

and out of the handbags

pouring each other drinks, like counting eggs

boasting how many can they drink.

Cackling, stumbling on the aisle getting off the bus,

the heels of their shoes tearing and scratching 

on the pavements as they run to make last orders  

before they hit the nightclubs. 


Johanna Boal



The Walls of the Hurricane


The busy sea edge: drystone walls run into the sea

waves lap around them washing and the sun drying

crows, seagulls nesting, the white marks on the grey seals

huddling the rocks blended like lichen the drystones walls. 


Out on the ocean high winds lifting, water creating

another wall and it moves quickly with speed

as an athlete competing to the finish line,

surging water came ashore and bucketing rain



the birds quickly fly, the earliest drystones wallers run

gathering tools and buckets, water hammering over top stones

flooding the foundations of the ocean wall

spreading sea-life high the five-foot drystone walls


later – sweeping the water back to the ocean 

gathering the drystones to maintain tradition:

the effective windbreak renewed continuing habitat

seagulls, crows, seals, children’s fishnets at the edge of the walls. 


Johanna Boal



At the end of the Street


At the end of the street

From the house in which I grew,

Was a bakers, so the smell

Of baking bread would filter through

The window every morning

When I woke.


At the bottom of the street

From the house in which I grew

Was the corner shop, a sweet shop,

Though it was a grocer’s too,

That’s where my pocket money

Went to.


In the middle of the street

Was the house in which I grew.

We didn’t have much money,

But we still had lots to do,

And we had bread to fill

Our bellies


And pocket money jelly sweets

From the shop at the bottom

Of the street.

Joyce Walker



On wishing reality was a healer.


Cheers to blue serenity on the night of Qadr,

To the crescent moon like a broken plate,

To Ramadans bloom, dates and its sour age,

Chai and mud,to December’s fair breeze

Breaking through the watered skin, to the old chair,

Brown faded furniture, the sands grain like body,

To purple hibiscus,the folding mountain,

The bloated, the youngest full moon ,

To buried virtues, the forsaken magnolia,

The outcast by the mouth of the shore,

Cheers to these, sorry we believed all would heal,

A big cheer to the new born escaping from

The heavens like honey.


Abdulrazaq Salihu



Symphony of assistance


‘Fabulous eggs by fabulous birds’

I saw this, looked for more delight 

or encouragement! 

‘visual communications’

yes, this motorway has plenty


that’s what we need


there’s plenty of that in our world today


‘blind spot take care’

yes, we’ve all got blind spots!

‘download the App’

will this help or hinder?

‘topspec decoration’

I’d like that

‘Doors that do more’

do they open on a new day 

or show us the way?


‘Saints – urgent air freight’

Perhaps this is what we’re looking for?

‘everyday life made easier’

or this?

‘no hard shoulder’

Don’t cold shoulder me!


thank you, I’ll have some of that.



‘Fabulous eggs by fabulous birds’

I still haven’t found these

breakfast delights!


Judy Dinnen